Business News of Saturday, 19 April 2014
Cocoa Purchasing Clerks (P/Cs) have been cautioned to desist from exploiting farmers through the manipulation of their weighing scales.
It is a criminal offence to tamper with weighing scales with the intention to cheat farmers, Nana Obutu Frimpong, Chairman of Adikrofo (sub-chiefs) in the Asamankese Traditional Area, gave the warning.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Asamankese in the West Akim Municipality of the Eastern Region, Nana Obutu warned that any P/C caught cheating cocoa farmers by adjusting their scales would face the full rigours of the law.
Nana Obutu, also the chief of Essaso was reacting to complaints received from some chief farmers in the area, that it had been the practice of some of the clerks in Akim Oda, Asamankese, Suhum and Kibi operational areas, all in the Eastern Region, to manipulate their weighing scales to cheat farmers.
He said some high-time cocoa farmers weigh their cocoa beans in their homes before sending the commodity to the various societies (sheds), where they are able to detect the disparities on their respective scales, to the farmer’s disadvantage.
Nana Obutu pointed out that in the wisdom of the government, replacing the old bar weighing scales with modern clock type scales which are easy to read, is a move aimed at assisting the farmers to have their produce accurately weighed so as to avoid cheating.
According to him, to avoid cheating, farmers should adhere to the guidelines given them by cocoa officials, to practice the seven-day fermentation period and allowing the beans to dry well.
This, he explained that it would also drastically reduce the incidence of defects like purple and slate in the beans.